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Where did it come from and can it be trusted? The scientific process of attempting to ascertain the original wording of a text Basically what exactly did Paul write down on the original letter to XYZ group or person The Bible was not faxed over from heaven It was written over a 40+/- period Written by 8+ men Some tax collectors, fishermen and a doctor. Written in Greek 5336 manuscripts survive Of those only a few are 100% complete Most are fragments, incompletes or damaged Some written on vellum others on papyrus Before the invention of the printing press all manuscripts were hand written Hundreds of thousands if not millions of copies were made Once an original manuscript was copied it was ceremoniously destroyed. This would prevent the physical word of God to fall into disrepair. There are only 3 remaining copies of Flavius Josephus History (250AD) There are only 9 copies remaining of Gaius Julius Caesar’s “Gallic Histories” (900 AD) Only 1 copy of Cornelius Tacitus’s “Annals of Roman History” remain. (100 AD). (AKA the main document that we base our understanding of Roman history) In A.D. 303 the Roman Emperor Diocletian issued an edict to destroy Christians and their Bible. The persecution that followed was brutal. Over a burned and extinguished Bible, Diocletian built a monument on which he wrote these triumphant words, "Extincto nomene Christianorum" (the name Christian is extinguished). Twenty-five years later, Diocletian was dead and the new Emperor Constantine commissioned fifty copies of the Bible to be prepared at government expense. In 1776, Voltaire, the French philosopher, announced, "One hundred years from my day, there will not be a Bible in the earth except one that is looked upon by an antiquarian curiosity-seeker." One hundred years later Voltaire was dead and his own press and house were being used to print and store Bibles by the Geneva Bible Society. One hundred years from the day of Voltaire's prediction, the first edition of his work sold for eleven cents in Paris, but the British government paid the Czar of Russian one-half million dollars for an ancient Bible manuscript. With only 130,000 word there are over 400,000 variants There are NO autographic text available The Counsel Of Nicaea voted on what books would be in the NT and if Jesus was even the Son of God Due to the facts (assumed facts) the NT is corrupted and cannot and should not be believed in They did not vote on whether or not Jesus was GOD There was however several groups that wanted to change the word of God to say He never came in the flesh These groups include: Gnostics (Coptics) Melitians and Aritians They did meet to vote on what text to include in the NT cannon. Cannon is simply a standard or rule to follow when determining what to include and or exclude with in a book or series or writings The counsel was not the first to try to build a list a list to weed out the fakes List had been collected as early as 145AD How did the Counsel determine what books to include? The books had to meet the following requirements: There can be no textual contradictories. Within the texts. The document must have and claim Holy or apostolic connection (Claim to be inspired) Must predate the Council’s meeting (by at least 1 year) When votes were taken there was very little differences of the 318 voting members (most votes were 316/2) Over 50+ books were submitted (outside what we have in our NT) for consideration to be included in the NT Those 50 fell into the following categories: Apocrypha Pseudepigrapha Books written by “church fathers” Agrapha Gnostic Gospels What is a variant? A variant does not mean an error, just a difference between two manuscripts Example if there are 5300 manuscripts and in only 1manuscript there is a difference. This would then be counted at 5299 variants. 4 areas of variants Spelling Word order, additions and deletions Meaningful yet not viable Meaningful and viable Over 60% of variants or over 240,000 27 ie/ei replacements 2000+ phonetic spelling issues (may be due to dictaion) Example Matt 1:3. A word that should have been an “a” was instead written as an “e”. REALLY SHAKES OUR FAITH RIGHT??? Additions or deletions Example Jesus the Christ vs Jesus Christ Mary mother of Jesus vs Mary the mother of Jesus James brother of John vs James the brother of John The “movable” Nu Just as we in English use ‘a’ and ‘an’ depending on whether a vowel proceeds them. The Greek uses Nu to ease reading. However some manuscripts they are used and in others they are left off but over all they change nothing in reading or meaning. • With out the Nu (v)= They set • With the NU (v) = They set (or will set, can set) Matt 1:21 For he will save the world or for he will save his people Matt 1:23 You will call his name or he will call his name or they will call this name Rom 5:1 Let us have peace vs we have peace Mark 16:9-20 Some early manuscripts do not contain this passages Of those most are incompletes One script does contain this passage but dates to the 1200AD John 7:53-8:11 Most manuscripts do not contain this passage Only one known text places these passages in their current location Some that contain it, but place it in a different place (either at the end of the book or after John 7:44) Isa 40:8 Matt 24:35 1 Pet 1:25 It is unique in its continuity. It is unique in its circulation. It is unique in its translation. It is unique in its survival. It is unique in withstanding attack.